Themed nights are a mainstay of Minor League Baseball, and at times Major League Baseball. Superhero Night! Throwback Night! (Insert Cultural Group Here) Appreciation Night!
However, a lot of times, these nights are half-hearted. Maybe there will be some music changes, some special guests, or a specially themed firework display. And, yes, there usually will be some sort of special uniform, auctioned off for charity. But few of them are willing to combine every single one of these aspects.
But last night, the Rochester Red Wings went all out for their “Miracle on Ice Night” event, in honor of the 35th anniversary of 1980’s Miracle on Ice. There were….
Not one, not two, but three members of the Gold-Medal team came: Mike Ramsey, John Harrington, and Ken Morrow. They signed autographs, sure, but they also slap-shotted their first pitches:
And did a post-game interview about the 1980 Olympics and other topics. The biggest difference between Miracle and the real events, by the way, is that the real Herb Brooks wasn’t as nice as Kurt Russell’s version. Ha!
Presumably because the Syracuse management wouldn’t have liked to have their players and managers wearing CCCP jerseys, both teams wore 1980 Team USA jerseys.
The Red Wings wore the white jersey, the Chiefs wore the blue ones… and the umpires wore hockey-style stripes. I have to say, given that these uniforms are based off the uniforms of an entirely different sport, they didn’t look half-bad. And plus it allowed everyone to see the amazing site of Mike Quade in a Team USA argue and be ejected from the game by a umpire dressed like a hockey ref, which isn’t something you see every day:
Food and Little Touches
At the ballpark last night was something called the Hat Trick, which the Wings website described as “Consisting of a 1/2 pound cheeseburger, a 1/4 pound hot dog and a 1/3 pound Italian sausage with peppers and onions on a DiPaolo sub roll”. I didn’t eat it, but I was able to take a picture of it:
In addition, little changes were done throughout the game. Instead of the usual “Mario getting a coin” sound when the Wings scored, the stadium played a hockey arena horn. Instead of having a little league team be introduced before the game, they had a pee-wee hockey team be honored. Highlights of the game were given between innings and a replica of the newspaper from the day after the game in 1980 was given out. Also, to fit with the 1980s theme, all of the walk-up music was replaced with music from the era. Oh, and on the scoreboards they made it so that the players looked like they were in hockey gear:
Note: James Beresford is Australian and it is entirely possible that he has never seen a game of ice hockey in person his entire life.
And, finally, the fireworks show consisted entirely of music from 1980. I can’t remember them doing that before. Here’s pictures of fireworks to end this:
All in all, a well put-together night. Well, other than the fact the home team lost 10-4.